Tips & Advice
What services are offered by a credit union?
Credit unions offer a wide variety of services, starting with checking and savings accounts. They offer home, auto, and personal loans. They can also offer credit cards and financial services, like debt consolidation, retirement accounts and certificates, investment opportunities. In addition to the many financial services, they also offer access to thousands of ATMs, many for no fee.
Do credit unions offer credit cards?
Credit unions absolutely offer credit cards, and the best part is that they can offer lower interest rates than banks can. Monies made off of interest and fees are put back into the credit union in an effort to provide members with lower interest rates on loans and credit cards. Most credit unions don’t charge annual fees on their cards.
Do credit unions require a minimum balance?
Most credit unions do require a minimum balance. Even an empty account has maintenance, monitoring and activity reporting (statement) costs. Each credit union has its own guidelines on minimum balances and fee structures, so check with your specific credit union to understand their guidelines. Most waive a monthly fee if your balance is over a certain amount, but once it drops below that, they start charging monthly fees. Be aware there may be different minimum requirements for your checking versus your savings accounts.
Do credit unions have ATMs?
Many credit unions have their own limited amount of ATMs, but most credit unions are members of the co-op financial services network, which provides free ATMs to their members all over the country. You can check with your specific credit union, but outside of a few individually owned ATMs, most member have access to them with no fees.
Credit unions are very safe. Most credit unions and their members’ shares are covered by the National Credit Union Insurance Fund (NCUISF). All Federal Credit Unions are protected by the NCUISF. Some, but not all, state-chartered credit unions are insured by the NCUSIF. Others have their own state insurance or private insurance.
What are the benefits of a credit union?
Since credit unions are not for-profit cooperatives, they do not pay out dividends. They use their profits to generate lower interest rate loans and credit cards, and higher interest rate savings accounts. They are not pressured to sell financial services and other for-profit endeavors. Since credit unions are generally set up for specific industries, they can cater their services to a clientele that often has similar needs.
What is the difference between a bank and a credit union?
The primary difference between banks and credit unions is that credit unions are not for-profit financial cooperatives, whereas banks are for-profit institutions. Credit unions are designed to help a smaller client base by generally servicing members of a particular industry, like auto workers or aircraft manufacturers. The profits made by a credit union (off loans, interest rates and account fees) are put back into the credit union -- not doled out to shareholders, like at a bank. This allows them to provide lower interest rate loans and have higher interest rate savings accounts for their members.
What is the difference between the ACT and the SAT?
Both tests are very similar and test on nearly identical subjects. The major differences between the ACT and the SAT are that the ACT includes a science test section and the SAT has a math section that you cannot use a calculator on. Both tests are timed, but the SAT test gives you more time per question. There are key math components that are different. For example, the ACT has a greater focus on geometry then the SAT. The SAT factors in math more, so if that is not your strong suit, consider the ACT. The last key difference is the optional essay section. On the SAT you will read and analyze a passage, and dissect the author’s position using evidence and logical reasoning. You do not give opinions. On the ACT essay you will read and analyze the passage’s issue and provide not only different perspectives on the issue, but a personal opinion as well. Outside of the method of scoring, those are the major differences between the two tests.
What is a good ACT score?
The American College Testing (ACT) scores are the average of the test takers sectional scores in math, science, English, and reading: 36 is the highest possible score, and one is the lowest. The average ACT score is 20.8, which puts you in the top 50 percentile, so 21 and above puts you in the upper echelon. Getting 24 is a strong score, puts you in the top 25 percent and gives you more colleges to choose from. Anything above 24 is a very strong test score. Once you get more than 24 you are in the top 20% and from there your chances are outstanding. Obviously each institution has there own standards, but generally speaking, higher scores are a good way to push your application to the top of the stack, in what can be a very competitive environment.
What is a good SAT score?
The best score you can get in your SAT’s (Standard Aptitude Test) is a 1600, so if you can reach that, you’re probably a lock for any school in the country. The average score on the SATs is between 1000 and 1100, so a score in that area puts you in the “50th percentile,” which is the minimum you should be shooting for. Getting 1200 to 1300 is going to separate you from the pack, and above 1300 puts you in the upper echelon. Since this is literally a competition, you cannot aim for average if you want to maximize your chances (and options). If you do grade out near the average, don’t freak out, you will still qualify for plenty of schools, and scores are just area a school looks at for admission.